Pastor Maldonado was set to be retained by Renault for the 2016 season after the French car giant purchased and rebranded the Lotus F1 Team.
However, due to financial reasons, the Venezuelan was dropped and Renault ran Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer in its first season back as a full Formula One works team.
This week, Maldonado has opened up how his F1 career, which looked so promising at one point, unceremoniously came to an end.
“At the time, I had two options: Force India and Lotus,” Maldonado told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com.
“It was a very logical choice. They sponsored big names, as well as brands with an interest in my country. You had Unilever, Coca-Cola, Microsoft. Lots of good, interesting sponsors.
“Between the end of November and the beginning of January it had become a completely different team. Eric Boullier had left the team, everyone was gone.
“There were few people, there was a lot of stress and we didn’t know what to do.
“The simulator was discontinued because there was no money to reactivate it. And in the simulator, only two or three circuits were uploaded, because each circuit cost 20,000 euros,” he explained.
Continuing, Maldonado said the team was a “mess” after its sale to Renault and suggested they made a “very bad” decision by dropping him for Palmer.
“When the team became Renault, I knew I couldn’t stay, but we didn’t understand, one day they said yes and the next day it was no. It was always a mess,” he said.
“We didn’t understand, they chose Palmer as the driver… It’s incredible, even if he brings money. Some very bad decisions have been made, both about the car and the drivers and about the technical staff,” he concluded.
Palmer’s F1 career also ended with Renault a couple of seasons later, and he since moved on to motorsport journalism and punditry.